BOE discusses upcoming superintendent search
by Chris Norwood
Jan 09, 2014 | 1089 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Talladega City Board of Education discussed several aspects of the upcoming superintendent search during a 90 minute work session Thursday afternoon at the board’s central office. No formal action was taken, but there will be another work session Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. with a representative from the Alabama Association of School Boards, which may or may not be involved in the search process. The board will then have its regular meeting Wednesday night, followed by another work session Jan. 16.

Much of Thursday’s meeting was taken up with necessary updates of outdated material, from the informational brochure to be sent out to possible candidates to the job descriptions themselves.

Doug Campbell, the current superintendent, also holds the titles of federal programs coordinator and, at least at one time, special education coordinator, which are carry-overs from his time as assistant superintendent. The job descriptions for the first two positions were last revised in 1992. It was not clear that the special education position, currently held by someone else, even had a job description, even though the job had been posted publicly.

Alabama Education Association district director Charmelle Lewis volunteered to provide the board with copies of job descriptions for comparable positions in other systems, prompting board chair Shirley Simmons-Sims to refer to her as “a gift from heaven today.”

“It seems like all our lawsuits seem to come from special education,” Simmons-Sims said.

The board also discussed revisions to the position description for chief financial officer, which will become vacant in February. This description appears to have been updated more recently, possibly in 2006, and the board agreed to hold off on changes here until the hiring process for a new superintendent is underway.

Changes to the brochure include adjusting the population and enrollment, changing the number of schools included in the city system, correcting the number of businesses and industries and including mention of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. The board agreed to retain language mentioning that a doctorate was preferred, but not required, for the new superintendent, and that a residency requirement for Talladega County should remain.

There was also discussion, but no consensus, on revising the transportation stipend for the next superintendent. Simmons-Sims, in particular, was vocally opposed to continuing to provide both a vehicle available for the superintendent’s personal use as well as a monthly gas and maintenance allotment.

The board will hear the search presentation from AASB next week, but also left the door open to working with other organizations or possibly conducting the search themselves.

Lewis will also provide salary listings for other superintendents to consider. Campbell’s contract set his initial salary at $112,500 plus $12,500 for federal program coordinator. He receives an annual $2,500 travel stipend, and got a 2 percent raise with all other system employees, bringing his base salary to $127,500 per year plus the stipend.

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